A Thought About Differences

Listening to NPR this weekend…

Their There They'reA writer mentioned that he is frustrated by the commonly misused words found in everyday life. He gave an example and for the life of me I could not grasp his example.

Perhaps I needed to see it in print more than hear his words.

Yet, I comprehend how easily it is to grab the wrong word when typing fast and then not catching it when proofing the final product. Although, I am generally quick at catching the words that are misused.

This morning, someone used the word “inquire” and immediately I thought about it’s other spelling, “enquire”… Even as I leave the sentence my grammar check underlines the word in red telling me there is something wrong with this word. So, I go to one of my favored writing tips web pages and check out the word. (Click Here) There is no essential difference. One is the British spelling, and the other our more commonly American spelling.

For your consideration, I’ve listed a few websites that discuss these most commonly misused words.

Perhaps the one that I see often is related to a religious term: Altar vs Alter  When grading papers at school, or reading post on Social Media pages, I could actually grasp the single misuse of the word, but when it is continual throughout then I realize you have no clue to your mistake.

That is your problem… But it affects (see, not “effect”) me greatly. It’s distracting and makes your writing suspect on other fronts. I become critical. And I grade more harshly. (Perhaps I should tell my students this…) I lie (see, not “lay”) awake wondering about the principle (not “principal”) of the thing. Consider my view: You’re (not “your”) not as educated as you need to be!

Now. Lest I sound critical, the better way to think about this: How can I get better? About my problem…and your’s?

I may not make a difference in your misuse of words, but I can make a lot of difference in mine. Mostly, it’s in learning to proof my work better, and understanding a plethora of word options.

You, on the other hand, are responsible for yourself. Still, learning what is our own personal role in learning to write better is very important… Learning when to leave something along because it is their (they’re, there) job is most important.

I could preach about that!